May 2023, Case Studies

Case study - Corey Peters and CAM Architectural Design

A shared passion for snow sports, a love of Wanaka and a professional vocation for architectural design are the key ingredients that came together for a successful Prime Minister’s Athlete Scholarship Internship for Paralympian Corey Peters and his employer, Carl Murphy (also a Paralympian) of CAM Architectural Design.

Corey, a gold and silver medalist on the sit-ski at the Beijing Paralympics, has recently completed his 12 month internship with CAM Architectural Design and the most frequently used word he has to describe his experience and his employer is “understanding”.

“Carl, who leads the company, is a former professional snowboarder so he understood my needs as a high performance athlete.

“But even more importantly he was very understanding about the steep learning curve I had to go through – the maze of technical requirements which I was unaware of – Council information needs to sign off jobs, CAD (computer aided design) programme learning to name a few,” says Corey.

Another aspect of Corey’s hectic schedule during his internship was the birth of his baby girl, his first child. “As a father of four, Carl was extremely understanding about my need to take time off to spend some early quality time with my family and our new addition.”

Carl says his involvement with Corey and HPSNZ’s internship programme was a no brainer.

“I have known Corey for more than 10 years through para snow sports and he had done some contract work for me a few years ago,”says Carl.

“Corey approached me after Beijing and I worked with HPSNZ to set up the internship.

“A big plus of the internship programme, especially for a small business, is the funding support for both employer and intern. The internship scholarship pays half the intern’s wages which takes away the financial risk and any associated pressure.”

Carl says his business would definitely be part of the HPSNZ Prime Minister’s Scholarship Internship programme again.

“Probably my only advice to potential employers is that the programme may be better suited to athletes nearing retirement.

“Flexibility is key to making it work but sometimes it can be inconvenient for an athlete to leave in the middle of the day for training.

“Some employers may find that difficult however, for me, the benefits of having Corey on the team far outweighed any challenges.”

Both Corey and Carl have nothing but praise for the programme. “It is a great initiative from HPSNZ and an extremely important part of the process to get ready for a career outside sport,” says Carl.

Corey Peters powering down a slope on the sitski

From his perspective, Corey says the HPSNZ internship programme has given him confidence and helped him develop skills and knowledge in an industry he wants to be part of his post athletic career.

“The skills and experience I gained with Carl will definitely make me more employable and will lead to a solid career when it is time to retire my sit ski.”

When asked what advice he would give to athletes thinking of applying for the internship programme, Corey says they should have a clear idea of what vocational direction they want to go in and to appreciate what an amazing opportunity it provides.

About the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Athlete Internship Programme 

Following a successful first year of the pilot programme in 2022, the 2023 Prime Minister’s Scholarship Athlete Internship Pilot offers up to 10 paid internships to support athlete wellbeing and preparation for life after sport. 

The internships provide an opportunity to help athletes sustain dual careers and explore options aligned to their interests and qualifications.  Successful candidates will work with the HPSNZ Athlete Internship Lead to create an internship that suits them.